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Unpublished Paper
Leaders of Today Are Challenged by Generation X Workforce Retention
  • Joyce K Kutin

Many organizations today are comprised of a culturally diverse workforce. In addition to organizational diversity related to gender, ethnicity, race, or religious beliefs, there are also four different generations working side by side. Today’s workforce includes the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. The Silent Generation is known for their lifestyle approach of consistency, uniformity, conformity, law and order, hard work and playing by the rules. Baby Boomers were the first generation to grow up with television; they were the first to have broad access to news, issues, advertising, and a variety of programming. Generation X is inherently independent, self-reliant, resourceful, and comfortable with all manners of change and diversity. Generation X includes “latchkey kids” who would come home from school in the afternoon, let themselves in, and remain alone until mom or dad came home from work. This taught them independence and self-reliance. Generation X views themselves as free agents in the workplace – a marketable commodity. They have a work to live not live to work attitude. Generation Y, the youngest of the four groups, doesn’t remember a time before personal computers, the Internet, microwave ovens and cell phones.

As the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers move through the workforce into retirement and Generation X becomes more dominant in the core workforce, organizational leaders will be challenged to inspire, motivate, and enlist their allegiance toward the mission of the organization given their “latchkey” independent mentality. This paper explores this leadership dilemma through a transformational leadership frame.

  • Leadership,
  • Generation X,
  • Retention,
  • Motivation,
  • Intellectual Consideration,
  • Transformational Leadership
Publication Date
Fall September, 2011
Citation Information
Joyce K Kutin. "Leaders of Today Are Challenged by Generation X Workforce Retention" (2011)
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